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The i2Coalition Invites the Public to Help Shape the Future of VPNs

Internet infrastructure association, the i2Coalition, opens new Request For Comment (RFC) period for the VPN Trust Initiative Principles

Virtual Private Networks help ensure data flows between endpoints are private and secure. This means VPN users can enhance their online anonymity, bypass geographic restrictions, secure data transfers, and more. And yet, there are still legitimate concerns that a small number of VPNs—either accidentally or intentionally—expose users to greater risk than if they hadn’t used a VPN at all.

Having witnessed several examples of where certain VPN services had fallen short on the promise of this amazing security technology, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (the “i2Coalition”) founded the VPN Trust Initiative (the “VTI”), which includes some of the top VPN providers. The VTI’s mission is to bolster VPN consumer confidence and provider accountability and increase VPN adoption and access to the technology’s benefits.

A central part of this mission was to draft the VTI Principles, a comprehensive set of guidelines for VPN providers to ensure they meet the needs of users. The first iteration of the VTI Principles launched on September 29, 2020, after months of feedback from the industry and experts from civil society and academia.

And we’re now seeking more input on these principles.

Part of our mandate with the VTI is to keep it timely and able to address different needs and concerns. This is why we launched a new Request for Comment period seeking input and feedback for further consideration and the potential adoption of new amendments to the VTI Principles. The RFC is also used to guide implementation work, reviews, and operational activities. The comment period ends April 2, 2021.

Since then, the VTI Principles have been used to protect the privacy and security of VPN users, offer practical policy guidelines for VPN providers, and ensure policymakers, regulators and the wider market have access to criteria for evaluating these technologies.

The VTI Principles address five key areas: security, privacy, advertising practices, disclosure and transparency, and social responsibility. This request for comment includes five sections corresponding to each of the five key areas for the Principles, and respondents can choose to provide input on only sections where they have feedback. There is also an opportunity to provide overall feedback on the VTI Principles at the end.

All input is enormously valuable and given careful consideration, and we are actively seeking feedback from security, privacy, advertising practices, disclosure and transparency, and social responsibility professionals. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity to contribute to the continued evolution of the VPN industry.

By i2Coalition, Internet Infrastructure Coalition

Founded in 2012 by a diverse group of Internet infrastructure companies, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition supports and represents those who build the nuts and bolts of the Internet. We treat the work of the Internet infrastructure industry like the noble profession that it is.

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